Orange Cheddar Cheese

The one and only orange cheddar cheese

Orange cheddar cheese is an icon. When you say "cheese," most folks will picture a block of orange cheddar in their mind. It's the face of an entire food genre and the stuff of dreams for cheese lovers and mice everywhere. And just like a brilliant actor, orange cheddar cheese can play many roles. An aged orange cheddar will dazzle on the cheese board, while a young orange cheddar can melt with the best of them in any recipe.

In Wisconsin, we pay homage to this cheesy icon by producing tons of it and making it the star of all kinds of cheese delectables. Whether it's an aged cheddar or cheddar blue hybrid, a hot pepper-flavored or espresso-rubbed variety, orange cheddar cheese always delivers thrilling flavor and texture with every tasting – just what you'd expect from the icon of cheese.

Check out our website to meet all the orange cheddar cheese varieties produced by Wisconsin cheesemakers. Search our index to find a great port wine cheese recipe with cheddar. Or scroll down for suggestions on what to eat and drink with your chunk of orange cheddar cheese.

What to enjoy with orange cheddar cheese

There's lots to pair with orange cheddar cheese, depending on the age and sharpness of the flavor.

You can't really go wrong when pairing milder cheddars. These friendly cheeses love a frosty pint of pale lager, an IPA, or a pilsner when you're pouring beer. When there's wine on the table, a chardonnay, pinot gris, or rose will pair nicely, and a merlot, pinot noir, or malbec will always make a great red wine and cheese pairing. For higher proof hankerings, try a tequila reposado or a rye whiskey.

Pairing an aged cheddar is a bit more of an art. The bold, sharp flavors of this cheese need beverages that won't back down. In wine, the tannins in a cabernet sauvignon, chianti, or syrah are a nice match for the piquancy of the cheese, and chardonnay, riesling, and champagne are all good choices for whites. When ordering pints, try something off-dry with a touch of sweetness – a cider, saison ale, bock or Belgian ale can hold their own with aged orange cheddar cheese. And if you're doing shots with your cheese, try a bourbon or single malt scotch.

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FAQs: Why is cheddar cheese orange?

Why is cheddar cheese orange?

Cheddar cheese has been associated with the color orange for centuries. Early in its history, cheddar cheese from the town of Cheddar, England, was made with milk that was rich in beta-carotene, which gave the cheese an orange hue. Ever since cheesemakers have added dyes like saffron or carrot juice to the cheese to re-create the orange color. Today, orange cheddar cheese is made with annatto, the seed of the achiote tree from South America.

What is white cheddar vs orange cheddar cheese?

Orange cheddar is dyed with annatto. White cheddar cheese has no added color – it is the natural color of the cheese.

How is cheddar cheese made?

Cheddar cheese is made with a process called cheddaring. After the milk is separated into curds and whey by adding rennet, the cheesemakers form the curds into large slabs which are stacked and flipped repeatedly. This process releases more whey and results in a denser curd, which creates the cheddar flavor and texture. The slabs are eventually milled to produce smaller curds, then pressed into molds where the cheese will drain and age to create different types of cheddar cheese. Mild cheddar cheese is aged from 3 to 6 months. Sharp cheddars are aged 9 to 12 months, and extra sharp cheddar cheese is aged up to 24 months or longer.

Wisconsin loves orange cheddar cheese

When it comes to football, Wisconsin loves the Packers' green and gold. When it comes to cheddar cheese, you can color us orange any day. We can't get enough of the stuff. That's why our 1,200 cheesemakers make more cheddar than any other cheese apart from mozzarella – they know we'll consume every last chunk, slice, and shred of cheddar cheese they produce.

Of course, it helps that our cheesemakers make the tastiest, highest-quality cheese on the planet. And that our cheddars and other cheeses have won more awards than any other state or country in the world. (That's 5,552, for those of you who are counting.)

So, next time you're fancying some orange cheddar cheese, make sure that chunk in your hand has a Proudly Wisconsin Cheese badge on the label. That's when you know you're in for a feast of flavor.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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